Saturday, January 14, 2012

Counting Blessings

I think a lot of times in life people don't know how blessed they are or how good they have it. I am fortunate, my life showed itself as a blessing one day in my hospital room and since then I have been forever changed. I knew from that day forward I was here for a reason, that yes I was going through this for a reason, and yes in time that reason will show itself. I saw all my blessings. Even things that appeared before as curses were truly all blessings! Since then I live each day with blind faith and just know that I am going to be the best me possible until the day I die. I definitely treat people the way I wish to be treated and believe firmly in karma. And I no longer fear the other side. 

That day was in the winter of 2007 in a hospital bed at St Raphael's Hospital in New Haven CT. I was having a Crohn's flare and my rectum had collapsed, my sugar levels were so messed up they had to give me insulin, I developed pancreatitis from a daily chemo pill called 6mp and the pain my body was in was incredible. You can not describe that kind of pain. I would scream bloody murder every bathroom trip and the nurses did their best to medicate me. The veins in both arms were all failing so all the pain med they gave me was bubbled up on my arm. Just pockets of morphine and dilaudid. My body had been vibrating and lifting off my bed in pain and then all of a sudden the pain was gone and I was in this white mist.. I remember feeling a peace and calm like my anxious self has never known. Then this ornate and beautiful door appeared before me. I remember studying it and being blown away by its detailing. Then next thing I know I am in my hospital bed with a lot of nurses and staff around me.  I didn't know if this was a near death experience or if it was just drug induced.. All I know is from that moment on I felt like I was suffering and living this way for a reason. All the childhood abuse, the rapes, the pain and all the trauma that I suffered wasn't in vain. I knew I had to fight as hard as I possibly could to overcome this and get out of that hospital bed and back into my life. But my life was never the same after that day.

The day after I came to I agreed to get a chest port-a-cath placed so I could start IV chemo treatments and have a better way to give blood and get meds while I was in the hospital recovering. My older brother Rick had multiple ports when dealing with his cancer battle and I felt like he was with me. I felt at ease getting it knowing Ricky was strong enough and I could be too. I drew a lot of inspiration off of watching him lose that battle with cancer with dignity grace and a beautiful smile. I knew how to treat the staff with respect and admiration whether they were surgeons or the person cleaning my room. I knew to shine my light because I had his example and felt like he was on my shoulder in a way. Ever since that experience he has been even closer to me and I am SO grateful for that. Rick may not be visible but he is with me every step of the way. All I have to do to call him near to me is sing, and anyone who knows me knows all I do is sing!

I don't know my purpose but I have created my own reasons for why I think I am here. When I feel weak I have a core group of amazing people who lift me up until I can get up on my own two feet and stand again. I am so blessed with having a home and food and clean water. Even my poor health is a blessing. It has made me a woman I am extremely proud of. I used to fully credit my strength and courage to my loved ones who have inspired that strength and courage, but it was always my creation. I can finally take credit for all my attributes, positive and negative. I am so far from perfect but that is just part of being human. Its all part of the experience.

This photo was taken when I returned home from the hospital in January 2007

I never saw myself sharing this story and to be honest didn't tell a lot of people about it at all. But it was a huge turning point in my life and so I want to acknowledge it and share this story with you guys.. Because this moment in my life changed me and made me into this woman you all love so much! I don't feel bad at all saying I am my top priority. I don't feel ashamed or embarrassed of who I am and what I have done and lived through in the past because I love every aspect of me and I am DAMN PROUD of who I am! I never change myself, I am me all day every day so love me or leave me. I cuss spit and fart but I'm still a living work of art!

Monday, December 5, 2011


So this week is all about spreading Crohn's Disease Awareness. The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America has a website with tons of info on it, please feel free to check it out, just click on the logo or go to Maybe it will answer some questions you have that are hard to ask the person suffering this personal and oh so sexy illness!

People ask me what Crohn's is and I try to figure out the nicest way to say I have a shitty situation. I haven't quite adjusted to the whole having to discuss bathroom issues so matter of fact and nonchalant. Crohn's is an Autoimmune Disease (AID) that mainly affects the digestive system, but does affect the rest of the body as well. I have to take a lot of medication daily, and also take biologics (chemotherapy). Yes they use chemo for Crohn's Disease. This is the way they keep the immune system compromised (simply put they keep it in check) and when its cut down to that level the symptoms calm down and you are given some quality of life back.

The daily issues you will deal with even when in remission depend on the severity and progression of your Crohns. I was blessed to be diagnosed in 2006, a previous GI doctor told me should I have seen him with the same problem a decade earlier surgery would be my only hope. So to complain about giving myself an injection of chemo seems ridiculous! I mean really, its not THAT bad! At least there is a lot of hope for me and for my future, and that is all thanks to chemo. To this day I have never had surgery to remove damaged intestines etc.. and for that I am extremely grateful!! So when most people hear the word chemo they have this awful feeling that comes along with it. To me it represents a second chance at life, and one with a possibilty of comfort and quality. At this point they will keep me on these chemo meds indefinitely, and I accept that fate.

I have had stomach issues all my life.. I remember being in preschool and feeling like I was going to vomit every morning before school. I have had what I call morning sickness my whole life. Every morning I wake up with a stomach ache and sick in one way or another. There are times that are worse than others, but never is there a morning free of stomach issues.

In 2003 I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. I thought it was no big deal. People talk about stomach ulcers all the time and my ulcers just happen to be located in my colon cuz I'm cool like that. Whateva! Don't hate cuz I am special! Maybe I was in denial or just plain ignorant and unwilling to do the research. So in my mind I played it off and ignored it. I saw no reason to take all these pills they told me I needed.. The Asacol alone was 9 pills a day! I went through a time I had no insurance at all and so I learned to deal. I researched a lot, saw a nutritionist, a nautropath, I mean I tried it ALL. In the end stress and time did me in and I was worse than ever.

In June of 2006 I was finally diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. When the call came I was shaking, crying, completely lost it. I did not know how to react!! I knew Crohn's wasn't a good thing but it was an answer to what was happening to me and in turn meant they could begin treatment! That initial flare raged on through nearly 5 years, I hit remission in February of 2011.

Unfortunately once my Crohn's cleared up I noticed my joints getting worse. In May I was diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis which is still in flare. My Crohn's was getting jealous of all the attention my joints were getting so it came back to party it up this fall. This flare is different, but I know my doctors are on top of it and I do not think it will be long before they say I am in remission. I do my part and just pray things improve!

It is difficult handling life with both illnesses causing so much pain and discomfort. There is no escaping it. Even sleep gets interrupted by pain or having to vomit. You can medicate, meditate or find some way to make it tolerable. If you can tolerate it there is a chance at improving and maybe even enjoying life again. When the flare hits hard it feels like it will never end. You are constantly playing a waiting game as your body turns on itself and reacts to treatment. But in all that suffering are small gifts and blessings, you just have to keep your eyes open. Life is what we make of it and I am a firm believer in karma. My choice is to be a positive person and make the most of my life with these limitations. My choice is to be grateful for what I do have instead of counting everything I don't. And my choice is to speak up, even if it is a blog literally about poo I happen to do ;)

On May 12, 2012 I will be participating in CCFA's Take Steps walk to raise awareness and funds to support more research. Oh and don't you worry you WILL be reminded! My team is gonna be called "Rock Star Bellies" or something like that. We are gonna rock for the cure bitches!

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Let it begin!

Whats up! I am Kelly and decided to start this blog to share my life experiences with others. I have been dealing with a lot of health issues including two auto immune illnesses, Crohn's disease which attacks the digestive system and Rheumatoid Arthritis which attacks the joints. Both illnesses affect not only other parts of the body but completely change your life. I decided to change for the better. I realize I was given such struggles because I am strong enough to handle them with grace style n rock n roll baby!!

I am an artist by nature. Love to write poetry and songs. I had many years of professional vocal coaching and loved to focus on Opera and Folk...I have been in the beauty industry for about 11 years off and on now. Started as a receptionist with a shaved head and as much as hair was interesting I decided I wanted to do makeup.. So I went to school and now am certified as an aesthetician, I adore the job!! Unfortunately with my RA I am not able to work right now and miss my passion incredibly. So my new job will be coming here to share my life with whoever stumbles upon this page..

For the record, writing this makes me feel super Doogie Howser..